1 Wednesday, 7 November 2007
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
6 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, all the accused are here. From the
10 Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Stojic.
11 For the Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
12 Good afternoon, General.
13 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We're going to proceed and conclude the
15 examination-in-chief, and then we'll have the first of the
16 cross-examinations from Madame Fauveau, who represents General Miletic.
17 Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
19 Honours. Good afternoon, everyone. Good afternoon, General. Just a
20 couple more questions for you.
21 WITNESS: Rupert Smith [Resumed]
22 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
23 Q. You mentioned, I think at the very end of your testimony
24 yesterday, about your observations of the relationship between the high
25 Serb, Bosnian Serb, political and military leadership. In the aftermath
1 of the Srebrenica and Zepa operations, and in particular in the aftermath
2 of the VRS losses in the Grahovo-Glamoc front following the HVO offensive,
3 did you become aware of any criticism directed at the Main Staff and
4 General Mladic in particular?
5 A. My memory is there was some reaction in the Parliament, the
6 Bosnian Serb Parliament, but beyond that I can't -- I don't have a very
7 clear memory of any particular event other than that.
8 Q. Okay. The last area I'd like to discuss with you is, again just
9 to be clear, going to be based on your personal experience and
10 observations during your service in Bosnia. It's an area of your personal
11 experience that you did refer to in your expert statement, but I want to
12 emphasise again this is factual -- more factual testimony I'm going to be
13 eliciting, and that is regarding the role and effect of propaganda and
14 disinformation, as you saw it during that time. You refer to this in your
15 expert statement at pages 18 and 26 to 27 of the English and pages 16 to
16 17 and 24 of the B/C/S.
17 Now, I think they can typically be two distinct concepts, but I
18 want to ask you some questions based on your experience there. And let's
19 go directly to the expert statement itself, and I'll just read from it as
21 We're at 6D00183, please, and that's again page 18 of the English
22 and pages 16 to 17 of the B/C/S.
23 We're just waiting for the B/C/S, General, and when we get there,
24 the relevant portion of the B/C/S appears at my question to you about the
25 middle of the page.
1 Now, the Trial Chamber will hear from General Nicolai and others
2 about various conversations between Generals Gvero and Tolimir during the
3 VRS attack on Srebrenica, including the one that's referred to here in my
4 question at the top of the page, on page 1 of the English, and I'm -- page
5 18 of the -- pardon me, page 18 of the English --
6 MR. JOSSE: 16.
7 MR. THAYER: 16 of the B/C/S, if we could back up -- or go
8 forward to page 18 of the English. Thank you.
9 Q. Again, this telephone call between Generals Gvero and Nicolai,
10 we'll hear about later from General Nicolai himself, but I put the
11 question to you: In your experience, the reference in this telephone call
12 to Gvero telling General Nicolai that the Muslims were doing the firing
13 during the attack on Srebrenica, I asked you if that was something you'd
14 heard before, an example of anything in particular that you could comment
15 on, and your answer is at lines 5 through 16.
16 And then further down the page --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
18 Yes, Mr. Josse.
19 MR. JOSSE: I submit this is a highly objectionable way of doing
20 this. If my learned friend wants to ask this question as a fact-based
21 exercise, then put the intercept in front of the witness, invite the
22 witness to look at it, and then invite him to draw conclusions from it
23 based on his own personal experience. But going to a document in this
24 leading form, which is and was intended as an expert statement, still
25 labelled as such, is not the way to go about it, bearing in mind the
1 ruling of the Trial Chamber.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you need to rephrase the question. I don't
3 think there was any need at all to tell the witness that we will be
4 hearing from General Nicolai himself on this, et cetera, et cetera. Just
5 go straight to the document and put the questions you would like to put.
6 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President.
7 Q. Can you describe, General, what the effect of these types of
8 conversations that were being engaged in between Generals Gvero and
9 Tolimir and Generals Gobillard, Nicolai and ultimately General Janvier had
10 given the way that you had to operate in UNPROFOR and in conjunction with
11 NATO? Can you just tell the Trial Chamber what effect this type of
12 information had?
13 A. The consequence of receiving information like this, or the
14 assertion such as this, is that a delay was introduced into the UN and, if
15 necessary, the NATO decision-making process. There is a -- both parties
16 were in the habit of blaming the other for various actions, but if you
17 were there, standing in the middle, as we were in the UN, and you had
18 fairly precise instructions as to what you could and couldn't do with the
19 use of military force, then you had to be very clear as to who had done
20 what. And the moment one of the parties was asserting that they hadn't
21 done it, you found yourself in a position where you had to work your way
22 through a process of verification of the information, and usually the
23 moment of taking action had then passed by the time you'd done -- carried
24 out that action -- carried out that investigation.
25 Q. And perhaps it would be helpful to describe a little bit about the
1 actual process that got delayed by having to verify this information. If
2 you could get into perhaps the mechanics a little bit so that the Trial
3 Chamber gets a clearer picture.
4 A. You're referring to the use of NATO as -- for air attacks and so
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. I understand. I don't know how much the -- has been explained
8 about the dual key and the arrangements by which NATO air power could be
9 used. However do you want me to explain that?
10 Q. It would probably be helpful to start towards the beginning. We
11 haven't heard too much testimony here about that particular topic. We've
12 certainly heard about close air support, a little bit about the air
13 strikes, but not so much about the process. So you can --
14 A. Well, with the decisions to involve the NATO -- North Atlantic
15 Treaty Organisation in these operations, you arrived at a situation where
16 you had, leave aside the Bosnians, the Bosnian Serbs, the Federation and
17 so on, you now had a United Nations force on the ground, with some
18 aeroplanes, helicopters in the main, and a NATO air force in the air, each
19 answering to different political groups or political direction; the
20 Security Council, on the one hand, and the North Atlantic Council on the
22 In order to make this work and key these two activities and
23 organisations together, NATO arrived at a method of operating which came
24 to be called "the dual key arrangement," in which both the NATO commander
25 and the UN commander both had to agree that the -- that the air response
1 was necessary. In other words, essentially three areas in which NATO got
2 involved. The first was to police the no-fly zone, and here it was
3 relatively easy to work. NATO informed -- I beg your pardon. The UN
4 informed NATO of when it was flying its aeroplanes, and NATO then worked
5 on the basis that everything else they saw flying wasn't the UN, and if
6 they could identify it themselves as a violator of the no-fly zone, they
7 shot it down, which they did on some occasions.
8 Then there was the close air support of the UN forces in their
9 self-defense. I talked yesterday of the need for the forward air
10 controllers for this, but there was a -- this could be called upon by the
11 UN, and provided it was absolutely clear that this was in self-defence of
12 the UN, as a UN force, as opposed to any other use of air power for any
13 other purpose, then the decisions could be made quite quickly. There were
14 relatively few barriers to making the decision, and -- but nevertheless
15 both UN and NATO had to turn their keys.
16 Finally, there was a use of air power that starts with the
17 imposition of the exclusion zones around the safe areas. This was
18 intended to reduce the use of -- or neutralise the use of Bosnian Serb
19 artillery and other heavy weapons in affecting the people living inside
20 these safe areas. Here, provided the violation could be identified, then
21 NATO could be called upon to attack it, but again both the UN and NATO
22 commanders had to turn their keys, and the process of making that decision
23 was slightly more involved, and as I think we've already -- I think I've
24 already answer answered a question to this, during May the matter became
25 highly political and, in fact, was taken out of the hands of UN the
1 commanders and political officials in the theatre of operations itself.
2 So the consequence of the entirely understandable reaction
3 that, "I didn't do it, he did it," was that this delayed the process by
4 which you could bring in that air power, which was already complex enough.
5 MR. THAYER: May we look at 65 ter 2940A, please. And the correct
6 B/C/S version will be 2940C.
7 Q. General, this is an intercept dated 10 July at 2015 hours, a
8 conversation in which the participants have been identified as General
9 Janvier and General Tolimir.
10 If we could scroll down just a little bit on the English. Great,
11 thank you.
12 Just take a moment and read the intercept there in front of you.
13 General Tolimir says:
14 "I don't believe our soldiers are attacking your soldiers, since
15 they have been avoiding it up to now."
16 A few lines down, he says:
17 "I will check now with the commander in that area. He hasn't
18 reported to me that there was any attack."
19 We need to scroll down a little bit, I think, on both versions.
20 "I will personally check the information you gave me by phone."
21 "I will order my commander to establish, through UNPROFOR soldiers
22 on our side, radio contact with your check-point, the one you said was
24 We can go to the next page of the intercept. General Janvier says
25 that the VRS has to stop and withdraw to where they were. And then
1 General Tolimir says:
2 "I'm going to check the situation. Call me back in 20 to 30
3 minutes, the time needed to establish contact and give the required
5 And then:
6 "Okay, in 30 minutes we will call you again."
7 In the context, General, of the ongoing attack on the enclave, in
8 your experience, how important or not important was it to identify who, if
9 anyone, was attacking UN troops or positions in respect to calling in for
10 close air support? It may be an obvious question, but --
11 A. You couldn't bring -- you had to identify your attacker in order
12 to counter-attack or defeat the attack. So for that reason, it was
13 important to identify it. The -- and you would not get close air support
14 unless you could give the pilot and the controllers a precise target. So
15 it was important to establish it for those reasons, if for no other. You
16 would also want to know which side you were about to attack, because your
17 purpose was to get it to stop. So if you could get on the radio and
18 say, "Stop --" you know, "I'm the one you're shooting at," then that would
19 be an even better result than bringing in an air attack, if it stopped.
20 MR. THAYER: Thank you, General. I have no further questions at
21 this time.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
23 Madame Fauveau.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General. My name is Natacha
2 Fauveau Ivanovic, and I respect General Miletic.
3 I would like to ask you a few questions on the book that you
4 wrote, "The Utility of Force."
5 Is it true that in this book you wrote that military force, when
6 it is used, has only two immediate effects; it kills people and it
7 destructs things?
8 A. I wrote that, yes. I think I used the word "destroy" rather
9 than "destructs," but other than that, that's what I said.
10 Q. Yes, indeed, indeed, you used the term "destroy," yes. You also
11 said that military combats are brutal because force is applied by armed
12 military force, by lethal weapons?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You also developed an interesting theory about war waged among
15 people, a new form of war which has developed over the last few years; is
16 that correct?
17 A. I've -- I have that argument in the book, yes.
18 Q. I'd like to read to you what you said on that particular war waged
19 among people. This is on page 3 of your book, and in e-court this is
20 Exhibit 5D516, page 9. I will read you this excerpt in English. It will
21 be more accurate [in English]:
22 "War among the people is different. It is the reality in which
23 the people in the streets and houses and fields, all the people anywhere
24 at the battlefield."
25 [Interpretation] It is on the bottom of the page on the right-hand
2 You did write this?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Could it be said that recent wars, and civil wars in particular,
5 and in particular the war waged in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s, is
6 part of that particular category, i.e., a war waged among people?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Is this true, that in these wars waged among people, war affects
9 much more the civilian population than in traditional wars which were
10 waged between armies on the battlefield?
11 A. No, it's not true. If we look at the casualties in the Second
12 World War, there were very high numbers of civilians. The -- you
13 should -- to understand my use of the "war amongst the people," you should
14 read the whole of the paragraph you referred me to. It is -- I direct you
15 to the top of the paragraph, where I say it is both a graphic description
16 of modern war-like situations and a conceptual framework.
17 Q. But would you agree that the civilian population is heavily
18 affected in a war that could be called "a war among people"?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could one say that during that type of war, which is led
21 everywhere, insecurity prevails?
22 A. Only in the most general sense.
23 Q. Can it be said that fear is a prevailing feeling in that type of
25 A. In any -- let us draw a distinction between the fight, the
1 battle. In the battle, or the fight, or the engagement, fear, insecurity,
2 are frequently felt emotions. That doesn't follow that those exist
3 throughout a period of war.
4 Q. But in the type of war that was waged in Bosnia, where the war was
5 everywhere, as you rightly said in your book when you mention this concept
6 of wars among people, can it be said that, generally speaking, the
7 civilian population was scared?
8 A. Not all the time, no.
9 Q. Indeed, but when there are combats close-by, or just before
10 combats, or after combats, or when there's a shift in power, or when an
11 army would enter into a city once the city fell, in those situations can
12 we say that fear was a dominant feeling?
13 A. I'd be prepared to say that fear was a feeling. We'd have to ask
14 each individual where it stood in their scheme of things.
15 Q. In your testimony in the case against Dragomir Milosevic, you
16 testified on the 7th of March, you spoke about military targets, and you
17 said, and this is page 3351 of the transcript: [in English]:
18 "The military target is the -- the significance of the military
19 target is the military force, rather than specifically its locality. The
20 military force might be using the locality to advantage, such as a hill
21 with a church on it or whatever, and so it can then become a military
22 target, but it is because the military are there, not because it exists as
24 [Interpretation] Could we say that any building can become a
25 military target if used by a military force, if this particular place is
1 occupied by a military force?
2 A. No, I don't think you can say that as precisely as you're asking
3 me to answer the question, but you -- you would tend to that judgement,
4 yes. But it gets harder and harder, the more important the building is,
5 for whatever that reason -- whatever the reason for the importance of that
6 building, a mosque, for example, or a church.
7 Q. Can it be said that in wars among people, that is, the war waged
8 in Bosnia, armed forces would commonly use civilian buildings and even
9 sometimes humanitarian buildings for military operations?
10 A. Yes, people did do that in the Bosnian example.
11 Q. Is it true that at an inferior level of a military organisation,
12 i.e., at the battalion level, for example, or sometimes even at the
13 brigade level, simple houses were used as unit headquarters, and those
14 military unit headquarters could not be distinguished from the
15 neighbouring houses where simple people lived?
16 A. I would agree with the first part of your question, that, yes,
17 civil houses were used for headquarters. I don't agree that you couldn't
18 differentiate between the two. If you knew one was a headquarters, you
19 must know where it was.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Madame Fauveau, this last line of questions of
21 yours, I think, are very generic. They seem to cover not only the whole
22 territory scenario of the war, scene of the war, but also it doesn't have
23 a time frame. If you could be more specific, I think it would be much
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I'm reaching the
1 end of that line of questions, anyway. Indeed, they were quite generic.
2 If you allow me, I'd like to clarify the last answer given by the
3 witness, because my question may not have been entirely clear.
4 Q. What I meant is that military units would not indicate their
5 headquarters very distinctively so they could be differentiated from other
6 houses. Right?
7 A. Oh, no one's trying to make himself obvious on a battlefield, no.
8 Q. In the testimony you gave in August 1996, it is actually a
9 statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor, this is page 6, first
10 paragraph, and this is Exhibit 6D180, in this statement you describe
11 General Mladic. This is the very first paragraph.
12 You said, among other things in this statement [in English]:
13 ... "Resolute and remained rational and in control under pressure.
14 I believe he was driven by a single overarching aim of the defence of
15 the Bosnian Serbs and all else was to be subordinated to the achievement
16 of this aim."
17 [Interpretation] According to this description you gave of General
18 Mladic, his one objective in this war was to defend the Bosnian Serbs?
19 A. Yes, that was my understanding of him, yes.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: I have one more generic question. I hope the Bench
21 will allow me to put it. I promise it's the last one.
22 Q. Would you agree that the aim of war, the most common -- the most
23 traditional aim of war is the fact that people want to take control of
25 A. No, I don't think that is the only or traditional aim of warfare.
1 Q. Can it be said that it is or that it can be one of the aims
2 pursued through war?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In July 1995, when you were commander of the UNPROFOR forces for
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina, General Nicolai was your Chief of Staff?
6 A. Yes, for six of those months of that year.
7 Q. When General Nicolai was away from your HQ, for instance, when he
8 went to Bratunac to attend the departure of the Dutch Battalion, was he
9 replaced by somebody at the UNPROFOR headquarters as Chief of Staff?
10 A. Yes, he was. I can't immediately think of the officer in
11 question. I think he was a Frenchman.
12 Q. And even if General Nicolai was away from the headquarters, he was
13 the Chief of Staff, and the other person, the Frenchman replacing him, was
14 only there to take care of the daily business of the headquarters; right?
15 A. He was acting as the Chief of Staff in the absence of Nicolai, in
16 this case, who held that appointment, and he didn't stop holding that
17 appointment while he was away.
18 Q. Maybe you will not know the name of that Frenchman, that officer,
19 but do you remember the position of that French officer who was acting for
20 General Nicolai?
21 A. No. I'd have to go and get the organogram of my headquarters to
22 remember who it was. It isn't -- just to explain, because people changed
23 over on a six-monthly basis, and they didn't all change at the same time,
24 I have difficulty remembering who was where on what occasion during that
1 Q. I'd like to go back to your expert testimony. Please bear with
2 me, as there may be things that I did not quite understand or things that
3 I may not express very clearly.
4 Yesterday, on page 70 of the transcript, you said that the Main
5 Staff of an army is divided into various departments or branches, and you
6 said that usually there is an operations sector, a logistics sector or
7 branch, security, and so forth.
8 Here is my question: The heads of those various branches, are
9 they all assistant commanders?
10 A. No, they're not. They are chiefs of the branch or head of the
11 department. They'll have a title something like that, or "Chief of
12 Operations." They are members of the staff, as opposed to being assistant
13 commanders or commanders.
14 Q. You were talking of an army in which those various branches or
15 departments are branches of the staff sector; is that correct? The heads
16 of those branches are not directly linked to the commander?
17 A. The heads of the branches usually report to the Chief of Staff or
18 the man fulfilling that function, and from there to the commander, or the
19 commander, as if there's a hierarchy of commanders.
20 Q. What happens if an army is organised in such a manner that the
21 head of the branch in charge of operation is subordinated to the Chief of
22 Staff while the head of Logistics, Security, Personnel, are subordinated
23 directly to the commander? In this particular example, would you also say
24 that the heads of operations is at the same level of the other heads of
25 the other branches who are subordinated directly to the commander?
1 A. If I could go back a bit and try and answer this question slightly
2 more broadly. And I'm answering -- I'm still talking, as it were, to that
3 expert statement as I remember it.
4 The -- drawing a distinction between the commanders and the staff,
5 that everybody is reporting ultimately to the commander and his immediate
6 subordinate commanders, if they exist. The staff are there to support
7 those commanders in their -- in discharging their responsibilities. The
8 staff are usually organised, as I've described, into those branches of one
9 description or another, and they are coordinated, and their work is
10 brought to a single whole through the actions of the Chief of Staff, who
11 is a very senior officer and can be a deputy commander in his own right.
12 Then you have those who command. If you have, as we do in this
13 case, assistant commanders, then the purpose of having those, if you like,
14 extra commanders is to -- with their particular responsibilities, is to
15 act as a focus on those particular issues, let's say logistics, and to
16 make sure that the -- that the work of the headquarters, insofar as it
17 affects that activity, is properly focused.
18 You might see it if we looked at the corporate world of business
19 that you would have a board of directors and you're each with separate
20 responsibilities, but they are the directing hand of that corporation.
21 That board of directors would be similar to but not precisely the same to
22 the commanders within that construct that I have described.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse.
24 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I did not want to interrupt the answer
25 that the witness gave, and it's certainly not the witness's fault, but in
1 my submission, understandably, he has strayed into the very area that the
2 Chamber has said he must not stray into, because he has said, at line 25
3 of page 16:
4 "If you have, as we do, in this case assistant commanders, then
5 the purpose of having those ..."
6 And he goes on and then gives the analogy with the corporate
7 world. I objected when my learned friend for the Prosecution did it, and
8 I object when my learned friend for General Miletic does it as well.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau, you wish to comment?
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm sorry, this
11 question did not deal with the Army of Republika Srpska. This was a
12 general question which flows from the general answer given by the witness.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let me confer with my colleagues, please.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, our response to your objection, Mr. Josse,
16 is that we tend to agree with the statement of Madame Fauveau that the
17 question was intended and was answered more within a generic background
18 rather than with any specificity to the VRS, and in any case, we consider
19 ourselves to be in a good position now, and even more later, to be able to
20 make the necessary assessments.
21 So let's proceed. Madame Fauveau.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, would you agree that all armies do not have the same
24 organisational and functional structure?
25 A. Yes, I do agree with that.
1 Q. Can we say there was a difference between armies belonging to
2 Western countries and armies which existed in the Warsaw Pact countries?
3 A. In very broad terms, yes.
4 Q. The structure that you described yesterday is more based on the
5 structure and functioning of a Western army; isn't it true?
6 A. What I was trying to describe was in the expert statement, which
7 is, I think, the one you're referring to. Am I correct?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Is that there were two broad models for how you might organise
10 your staff. Neither are easily labelled "East" and "West." There is a
11 tendency for those of the Warsaw Pact to be rather more to the centralised
12 version I was describing in that expert statement.
13 Q. You said yesterday that in the system that you described, the
14 Chief of Operations would have been primus inter pares. In this case,
15 would it have been advisable to give the Chief of Operation to have the
16 same rank of the other departments or even a higher grade?
17 I'm not sure I was entirely clear, so let me repeat. If the heads
18 of the other branches, Logistics, Security and others, are generals, in
19 order to be the first among equals, do we need the Chief of Operations to
20 be a general as well?
21 A. No, and I'm using the phrase "first amongst equals" to describe
22 that there isn't this obvious and clear rank structure.
23 Q. But when you said that there wasn't an obvious and clear rank
24 structure, you were talking about the structure that you described
25 yesterday, this general structure that's a Western world structure?
1 A. No. I'm -- what I was trying to describe, both yesterday and in
2 the expert statement, was the generic models of possible -- you know, the
3 way staffs can work. The -- I don't think I've put a rank on anybody's
4 appointment. I'm talking about the appointments people might hold and the
5 function that they might be performing.
6 The staff system is such runs through a whole army. It isn't just
7 at one headquarters. You can -- the Chief of Staff of a brigade is a
8 chief of staff. He doesn't have to have the same rank as the Chief of
9 Staff of a division, for example.
10 Q. I am sorry, I think it is my mistake. I wasn't very clear. I'm
11 talking about the Chief of Staff only, the Chief of Staff of a particular
12 army. Within that Chief of Staff, you said that there were different
13 heads of different branches, Logistics, Security and Operations, and you
14 said that the head or Chief of Operations is first among equals. Within
15 the Chief of Staff and only within the -- the Staff, sorry, among those
16 various heads of branches, so that the Chief of Operations is -- can be
17 first among equals, wouldn't it be necessary for him to have at least the
18 same rank as the other officers?
19 A. No, I don't think it is necessary, because it is the function he's
20 performing rather than the rank he's holding.
21 Q. And to assign somebody to an important function, it wouldn't be
22 normal to assign to that particular function somebody with a high rank?
23 A. Particularly in war, rank isn't necessarily the definition of
24 competence, and you are just as likely to look for the right man for the
25 job as you are for the right rank for the job.
1 Q. For a long time, you were an officer in the British Army. You
2 were in many wars. Is it correct that you always respected the rules of
4 A. Yes, I think I always respected the orders I was given.
5 Q. There must have been an interpretation problem. My question dealt
6 with --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think so, Ms. Fauveau, because the witness
8 would have heard what we heard. Your question to him is whether he always
9 respected the rules of engagement. If that was not the question, then you
10 are right.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, it was my question.
12 Q. What I meant was that if -- whether or not he always respected the
13 law of war.
14 A. I believe I have always respected the laws of war.
15 Q. So, in any case, you think you were never in breach of them or you
16 would never have deliberately breached a law of war?
17 A. I do not think I have deliberately breached a law of war.
18 Q. You were talking about a meeting you had on the 17th of September,
19 1995, with General Miletic.
20 And I would like the witness to be shown evidence, P2908. Could
21 we go to page 3 of this document.
22 General, this is a document that was shown to you yesterday. It's
23 about this meeting in September, where you spoke about Sarajevo and the
24 modalities of the surrender of weapons around Sarajevo. Is it correct
25 that it was the first time that you met General Miletic?
1 A. Yes, I think that is correct. I think that's the first time I met
3 Q. On paragraph 8 of this document, it is said [in English]:
4 "General Miletic, an intelligent interlocutor, a man to do
5 business with."
6 [Interpretation] On the basis of this paragraph, is it fair to say
7 that General Miletic made a good impression -- a positive impression on
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Yesterday, on page 26 of the transcript, the Prosecutor asked you
11 if you were surprised to see the Chief of Operations taking part in this
12 meeting in Sarajevo, and your answer was: [in English]:
13 "No, not at all, and he -- I had understood him to be there as the
14 Chief of Staff. He was more than the Chief of Operations now. He was
15 acting as the Chief of Staff of that headquarters."
16 [Interpretation] When you said "he was more than the Chief of
17 Operations now, he was acting as Chief of Staff of that headquarters," did
18 you have in mind that meeting in September 1995?
19 A. I'm not sure I understand the question.
20 Q. Was it only in September 1995 that you had the opportunity to meet
21 General Miletic, who represented the Chief of Staff?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is it correct that at the time in September 1995, General Mladic
24 and his Chief of Staff, General Ivanovic, and other people close to --
25 other officers close to General Miletic, were in Western Bosnia?
1 I think there's been a mistake. There's first General Mladic and
2 then his Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic, and then another officer
3 close to General Mladic.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Four lines in the transcript on page 22 should
5 eventually be corrected. I'm just drawing the attention of whoever is
6 responsible to make sure that those four lines are corrected.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, maybe the easiest way
8 is for me to repeat the question.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Thank you.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Is it correct that in September 1995, General Mladic, commander of
12 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, his Chief of Staff, General
13 Milovanovic, and other officers close to General Mladic were in Western
15 A. I don't know if that's correct --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: I'm sorry to intervene, Mr. President, just to
18 clarify, cut off any further confusion.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but I -- one moment, because it's getting --
20 probably since I know your language, I was inadvertently following you in
21 French, only to realise that now the rest is being also translated into
22 French while we are on the English channel.
23 So I think that's already fixed, so otherwise I would receive the
24 translation of what I am saying, myself, in French.
25 So Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Just in hopes that it won't be repeated, I think
2 there's an error at page 23, line 4, where General Mladic is referred to
3 as the commander of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I just -- I
4 don't --
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, sorry, I meant the Army of
6 Republika Srpska, and I apologise for this because I think it was my
7 mistake and not the interpreters.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, thank you.
9 So are you still there, General?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not -- I'm still not entirely
11 clear what the question is.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So perhaps you can -- the question is whether it's
13 correct that in September -- I understand that Madame Fauveau hasn't
14 specified which part of September -- General Mladic, the commander of the
15 VRS, his Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic, and other officers close to
16 General Mladic were in Western Bosnia.
17 THE WITNESS: I don't know whether that's correct. I believe --
18 my memory is that's what I thought was the case, that his main effort was
19 over on that side of the -- of Bosnia and those officers were over there
20 with him.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And that applies to the entire month of September or
22 to any specific --
23 THE WITNESS: Certainly up to the point of this meeting in --
24 whenever it is. I've forgotten the date now. The second half of
25 September, anyhow.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, thank you.
2 MS. FAUVEAU:
3 Q. Yesterday, on page 60 of the transcript, you said that for a long
4 time your understanding was that the Chief of Staff was the general based
5 in Banja Luka. Do you agree that this general in Banja Luka was General
7 A. Yes, that is who I thought it was, yes.
8 Q. And when you prepared for your testimony on the 30th of October,
9 you said to a representative of the OTP that the Chief of Staff of the
10 Army of the Republika Srpska was General Milovanovic?
11 A. I don't remember the particular conversation, but if there's a
12 record of it, then that's what I said.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown Exhibit
14 5D515. It's a report of that meeting that you had with the representative
15 of the OTP, and I'd like you to have a look at page 2.
16 Q. In the middle of that paragraph, I'd like you to read a short
17 sentence. [In English]:
18 "General Milosevic being one of Mladic's chief of staff is clearly
19 an error, as Mladic's chief of staff was General Milovanovic."
20 A. Do you want me to comment on that? Yes, it is a mistake in the
22 Q. [Interpretation] Not at all, no, but I'd like to ask you a
23 question. In your book, you refer to one of Mladic's chiefs of staff.
24 Did you have the feeling that there were -- there were several chiefs of
25 staff? In your dealings with army representatives, did you have the
1 feeling that there were more than one chief of staff in the Army of the
2 Republika Srpska?
3 A. There were certainly other chiefs of staff in other headquarters,
4 but I think you're referring to the main headquarters, the -- Mladic's
5 headquarters. The other -- Miletic, at this meeting, is an example of
6 someone acting as a chief of staff when the Chief of Staff is elsewhere.
7 I know we had other cases when Milovanovic was in Banja Luka. Then my
8 understanding was that the Chief of Ops., who I understood was General
9 Miletic, was acting as the Chief of Staff in the absence, if I can call it
10 this, the real Chief of Staff, and that's what I'm referring to when I'm
11 talking about there being one of his chiefs of staff.
12 Q. Yesterday, on page 65 of the transcript, you said that you were
13 not sure how you managed to know that General Miletic represented the
14 Chief of Staff. Is it true that in your proofing session and last year,
15 when you prepared your expert statement, you had the opportunity to look
16 at many documents from the Army of the Republika Srpska?
17 A. Certainly, in the -- I don't think I saw documents in the proofing
18 session in October. I certainly saw Bosnian Serb Army documents in --
19 before doing the expert statement.
20 Q. And one of these documents was the documents where General
21 Miletic's name was mentioned, and he was referred to as representing the
22 Chief of Staff?
23 A. Yes, I think that was the case.
24 Q. And would you say that it is on the basis of these documents that
25 you concluded that General Miletic was the Chief of Staff of the Army of
1 the Republika Srpska?
2 A. I haven't been saying that. I've been saying he was standing in
3 as the Chief of Staff. And while I have seen those documents, it was of
4 interest to me, in my headquarters, to understand how the Bosnian Serb
5 Army was working during 1995, and we would be asking questions whenever we
6 had an opportunity of who was filling what job and what they were doing.
7 It mattered to us to understand. And I had certainly had some
8 understanding of the organisation and who was filling what job long before
9 I saw those documents. What I can't tell you is just how much I knew
10 before I saw those documents and how much I'd forgotten and so forth.
11 Q. Yesterday, on page 65 of the transcript, and I'm talking about
12 UNPROFOR in general, and you said that you were not always very well
13 informed about the control and command in the Army of the Republika
14 Srpska. Could you say whether the description of the functions of the
15 Army of the Republika Srpska were always accurate in UN documents or
16 sometimes were they not very reliable?
17 A. We were not informed, no, and as I say, we set out to find out. We
18 were looking for the information. And I'm quite prepared to discover that
19 there's inaccuracies in UN documents at the time.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown page
21 5D468. It is a UN memorandum, a United Nations Protection Force
22 memorandum, dated the 27th of July, 1995.
23 Can the General be shown the very last box of this page, at the
24 bottom of the page.
25 Q. In the middle of this box, you see that there is a
1 description "BSA COS General Tolimir," so this abbreviation, "BSA COS,"
2 stands for Chief of Staff in the Army of the Republika Srpska?
3 A. Yes, I would read that as such, yes.
4 Q. And in July 1995, was General Tolimir the Chief of Staff in the
5 Army of the Republika Srpska?
6 A. No, he wasn't. And if you could take me back to the top of the
7 document, we might see who sent -- who originated the document.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can we see the top of the document?
9 THE WITNESS: I have it here.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You can see it now.
11 THE WITNESS: It's Sector Sarajevo, and they are probably
12 reporting what's being reported to them by the Ukrainian Detachment. If
13 we slide down the -- keep going -- who's reported it, Ukrainian Company
14 from Zepa. That doesn't surprise me, that they don't know the difference
15 between an assistant commander and a chief of staff.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In your statement to the OTP in August 1996, on page 6, third
18 paragraph -- I don't think it's necessary to show it in e-court, but you
19 said that General Tolimir was in the Army of the Republika Srpska, in
20 charge of security, and that he was Mladic's main officer for political
21 and military matters. It is Exhibit 6D180, if you'd like it to be shown
22 to you.
23 Can we go to page 6, third paragraph.
24 And you see at the third sentence -- in fact, it's the third
25 line. I don't know if it's the third sentence as well. [In English]:
1 "We assessed Tolimir to be Mladic's principal staff officer on
2 political military matters."
3 A. Yes.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown page 3 of
5 the same statement.
6 Q. You talked about General Hajrulahovic, Hajrulahovic, so it's the
7 next-to-last paragraph on this page, and in this paragraph you said [in
9 " ... nicknamed 'Talijan' was a senior staff officer in the
10 Bosnian Army and effectively number two in the military chain with
11 specific responsibility for intelligence.
12 [Interpretation] So General Hajrulahovic was not the Chief of
13 Staff of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
14 A. No, I didn't understand him to be so.
15 Q. Neither was he the Chief of Operations of the Army of Bosnia and
17 A. No, I didn't think he was.
18 Q. However, he was effectively number two in the Army of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, or at least that was your understanding of his position?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me understand better what is correct, General
22 and Madame Fauveau.
23 As I read it here, General Hajrulahovic, nicknamed Talijan, was a
24 senior staff officer in the Bosnian army and effectively number two in the
25 military chain with special responsibility for intelligence. So you're
1 placing him in the Main Staff of the Army of Bosnia -- of the BiH Army, of
2 the armija, or are you restricting your assessment in relation to this
3 section dealing with intelligence?
4 THE WITNESS: Is this --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, it's directed to you.
6 THE WITNESS: Oh, sorry.
7 I'm not placing him -- they weren't organised in the same way, as
8 I understood it and saw it, as the Bosnian Serb Army. The -- and what I'm
9 trying to explain in this paragraph is that this man, which I can't
10 pronounce his name either, so we'll call him "Talijan," was a -- had this
11 position as being effectively number two in the military chain of command,
12 with a special responsibility for intelligence. I can't divide the two
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. Thank you.
15 Yes, Madame Fauveau.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So you just said that the armija and the VRS didn't have the same
18 organisation, so is that correct that it is quite possible that there are
19 significant differences in the importance of different positions in the
20 two armies?
21 A. I think it's probably fairer to say this is coloured by the
22 personalities holding the positions, rather than the positions as they
23 stood in some organisational chart.
24 Q. Let's go back to the meeting on the 17th of September, 1995.
25 You said that the situation had changed and the Serbs became more
1 cooperative. In the situation, they decided to send an officer who was
2 more cooperating than the others?
3 A. I'm not sure I did say that. Can I see the document again?
4 Q. So it was in the transcript. It's not what you said. You said
5 that the situation had changed, and you said that the -- and the Army of
6 the Republika Srpska cooperated in a better way, so I'm going to try and
7 find the right page in the transcript.
8 Your Honour, maybe we could take the break now. It will give me
9 time to find the relevant page in the transcript.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Sure, Madame Fauveau.
11 We'll have a 25-minute break.
12 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, we were talking before the break of what you said
17 yesterday. I'm now in a position to show you page 70 of yesterday's
18 transcript. Line 9 to 11, you're talking about the September meeting, and
19 this is what you said about the representative of the VRS [in English]:
20 "They were being at that stage and here presenting this a great
21 deal more cooperative and focused than I had found the headquarters and
22 these representatives before.
23 [Interpretation] This is my question: General Mladic or the
24 representative of the VRS decided to send General Miletic in a meeting
25 where you were going to be as well, in a spirit of cooperation?
1 A. Is that a question?
2 Q. Yes, General.
3 A. That's how I found them. Whether that was the motivation of those
4 who tempt them, I don't know.
5 Q. In any case, when the relationship with the Army of Republika
6 Srpska were difficult, in particular in May, June and July, General
7 Miletic never took place of any meeting with you; right?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. In the statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor in
10 August 1996, you did not mention General Miletic when you talked about the
11 various officers of the Army of the Republika Srpska; is that correct?
12 A. Without scanning the document, I can't confirm that, but I'm
13 pretty certain I didn't mention him.
14 Q. One or two questions on the expert statement you gave.
15 Would you agree that the organisation of Western armies could be
16 described as functional?
17 A. In contrast to what?
18 Q. To the organisation in countries of the former Soviet Union, i.e.,
19 countries of the Soviet Bloc which were more organised in a linear
21 A. I don't see the difference that you're trying to draw.
22 Q. When you were on leave, it was General Gobillard, wasn't it, who
23 was commanding the Sarajevo Sector, who was actually replacing you; is
24 that correct?
25 A. He was standing in for me, yes.
1 Q. Why wasn't it your Chief of Staff, General Nicolai?
2 A. Because there was a -- another commander on hand, in this case
3 General Gobillard, and, secondly, because this was a multinational force
4 and one of the major contributing nations to this force was France, and so
5 it was appropriate that it was one of their officers that was the
7 Q. If for one reason or the other, General Gobillard could not take
8 up that position while you were away, who would have commanded the
9 UNPROFOR forces in Bosnia?
10 A. I don't recall us considering that eventuality. We made it sure
11 that one or other of us was always in the -- in Sarajevo. I don't think
12 we thought that through any further than we needed to.
13 Q. Yesterday, you spoke about Zepa, and you said that when you
14 arrived in Zepa at the end of July 1995, you saw farms burning. This is
15 on page 26 of yesterday's transcript.
16 I'd like to show you document 6D29. It is a memorandum from
17 Mr. Harland, dated 26th of July, 1995. According to the first paragraph
18 of this memorandum, this document was drafted on the basis of a report
19 from Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter.
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter was your military adviser; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In the paragraph beginning with (ii), can you see the last
24 sentence of that paragraph?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. [In English]: "Many houses in the hills were burning, apparently
2 torched by departing Bosnians"?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. [Interpretation] According to Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter, the
5 Bosnians had set fire to the houses?
6 A. That is what he says. He says it's apparently torched by them,
8 Q. Is it true that the additional forces of UNPROFOR were deployed in
9 Zepa during the evacuation of the civil population?
10 A. On this day in question or later on? I can't be sure of the
11 dates, but we did deploy extra forces into the pocket, yes.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown page 2 of
13 that document.
14 Q. General, take a look at the second paragraph of the second page.
15 Here it says that there are about 150 additional troops, but it means
16 probably "additional men," and they came to reinforce the 79 Ukrainians.
17 These extra forces were Frenchmen; isn't it correct?
18 A. Yes, if those are the ones that we deployed, they would have been
19 French, yeah.
20 Q. And those troops did arrive in Zepa, they did reach the enclave;
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And they were not prevented to arrive by the Serbs?
24 A. No.
25 Q. In that paragraph, the following is said [in English]:
1 "In addition, UNPROFOR Civil Affairs, a JCO team, and 2ICRC teams
2 were in the pocket. UNPROFOR was actively assisting in the evacuation
3 effort. UNHCR was not present in the pocket."
4 [Interpretation] Would you agree, General, that these
5 representatives of UNPROFOR Civil Affairs did reach Zepa?
6 A. Yes, they did.
7 Q. And then again the Serbs did not prevent them from coming?
8 A. No, they didn't.
9 Q. There were also Red Cross representatives. They did reach Zepa as
11 A. I believe they did, yes, and it says there.
12 Q. According to that document, the representative of UNHCR did not go
13 to Zepa. Is it fair to say that UNHCR representatives did not want to go
14 there? They were allowed to, they were authorised to go by the Serbs, but
15 they did not want to?
16 A. I can't remember the case with any certainty, but I am -- would
17 agree with you that if they had travelled there, they would have been able
18 to get there, along with all those other people.
19 Q. To confirm what you've just said, I would like to show you
20 documents 5D478.
21 While we're waiting for this document to be displayed, this is an
22 order from President Karadzic. It is an order of the 26th of July, 1995,
23 by President Karadzic.
24 I'd like paragraph 1 to be shown to the witness, please.
25 It is an authorisation given to the UNHCR to go to Zepa. Could
1 you please confirm that paragraph 1 of this document indeed gives
2 authorisation to the UNHCR to go to Zepa?
3 A. Yes, it does.
4 Q. This order comes from President Karadzic. Yesterday and the day
5 before yesterday, you spoke about the involvement of the Staff in the
6 granting of authorisation for convoys to go to the enclaves, humanitarian
7 and the UNPROFOR, but isn't it true that politicians as well as the
8 political authorities were also involved in that process of
9 authorisation? And here I'm talking about humanitarian convoys.
10 A. I don't understand -- are you wanting me to confirm what was going
11 on inside Republika Srpska or with whom we dealt with?
12 Q. Maybe I could refer you back to the statement you gave to the
13 Office of the Prosecutor, to make things a bit more simple. It is Exhibit
14 6D180, your own statement.
15 I'd like to see page 5 of that statement, please, first paragraph.
16 Somewhere in the middle of this paragraph -- in this paragraph,
17 you mention Nicolai Koljevic, and somewhere in the middle you say [in
19 "Although an important figure, did not have any authority or
20 influence over Karadzic. His role was largely directed towards
21 humanitarian issues. However, he played a significant role in the matter
22 of the Sarajevo Airport and its closure to humanitarian flights and the
23 clearance of UNHCR convoys to the Eastern Enclaves."
24 [Interpretation] Do you remember that some politicians, and in
25 particular Nicolai Koljevic, had indeed a significant role to play in this
1 clearing process, the clearing of humanitarian convoys?
2 A. I would certainly agree that we dealt with them on this matter,
3 yes, and indeed so did politicians on our side, if that's the correct name
4 for them, like Mr. Bilton and Mr. Akashi.
5 Q. Let's now talk about the evacuation of the civilian population
6 from Zepa.
7 The extra forces that you deployed, the members of that French
8 unit and the representative of Civil Affairs, were in the village of Zepa,
9 among the civilian population, during the evacuation process; is that
11 A. Certainly in the early stages, they were, yes.
12 Q. And while they were there, they never reported any irregularities
13 during the evacuation?
14 A. They did, and we addressed some of them. And there were --
15 there's at least one occasion when men were taken off a bus. I'd have to
16 go back into the documents to find the case -- the details of the case.
17 And we would represent these irregularities when they occurred, represent
18 them to the -- General Tolimir and Co. at the time.
19 Q. Yes. About this particular incident when men were taken off a
20 bus, isn't it correct that it was the last convoy leaving Zepa?
21 A. I don't remember the details of it. I can recall that we had such
22 an incident, but I don't remember the timing of it at all.
23 Q. I'd like you to have a look at an excerpt of Exhibit 5D491, NIOD
24 report. While we're waiting for this document to be shown to you, could
25 you please confirm that you gave a statement to NIOD?
1 A. Who are NIOD.
2 Q. It is the Dutch institute.
3 A. This was over the -- that was investigating Srebrenica?
4 Q. Indeed, but it is not the parliamentary commission. This is
5 something else.
6 A. Then I may have confused the two commissions, but I'm sure I gave
7 this report.
8 Q. No, this is not your report. It is the report by the Dutch
9 institute. My question is that: Did you give an interview to that
11 JUDGE AGIUS: If he did -- if you know that he did, why don't you
12 present him with the interview or the relevant part on which you would
13 like to -- if he did, because I don't know if he did.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, NIOD did not
15 agree to give us that report. We don't have it.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay, go ahead.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we see the bottom of this
18 page, please.
19 Q. In the next-to-last paragraph, this NIOD report reads as follows
20 [in English]:
21 "Strictly speaking, Zepa did not fall. The Bosnian Serbs did not
22 capture the enclave in the way they had overrun Srebrenica. Rather, it
23 was abandoned by the Bosnian Muslim military forces and the population
24 after which the latter made their way as displaced persons to Tuzla via
1 [Interpretation] Would you agree that, in a way, Zepa was
2 abandoned by the military forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. No, I wouldn't. They were still fighting in the area. They
4 didn't abandon it in the sense I understand you've asked the question. If
5 by that you mean that they, in most cases, went over the Drina into
6 Serbia, yes, they did that.
7 Q. That was at a later stage, but when the evacuation took place,
8 there were no ABiH troops in the enclave -- not in the enclave but in the
9 village of Zepa, where the civilian population was?
10 A. They had -- they were not in the village, that is correct.
11 Q. Is it true that in the war which took place in Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina, while you were there in 1995, and I will limit myself to that
13 particular point in time, you saw a lot of movements of populations?
14 A. Yes, I saw some.
15 Q. The same applies to Croatia. When the Croatian forces took
16 Eastern Slavonia in May 1995 the Serb population left that particular area
17 and mostly took refuge in Bosnia, in the territory held by the Serbs?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And when the Serbs entered Srebrenica, the Muslim population left
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And that same scenario happened again in Zepa; you? You could see
23 it yourself; right?
24 A. Yes, the population left.
25 Q. And later on, when the Croat and Bosnian forces took villages and
1 towns in the southeast of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serb population also
2 left that particular place; right?
3 A. Do you mean the southeast or --
4 Q. Southwest, southwest.
5 A. Yes, there was population movement there.
6 Q. The Serb population also left the Croat Krajina when the Croatian
7 forces entered that area?
8 A. Yes, they did.
9 Q. And even after the Dayton Agreements, when part of the city of
10 Sarajevo where Serbs used to live was allotted to the Federation of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina, the Serbs living in that particular part of Sarajevo left
12 their dwellings?
13 A. I think you'll find that happened after my time.
14 Q. Is it fair to say that during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
15 it was common that when an army captured a particular village, that the
16 population belonging to the other ethnic group, whose representatives did
17 not hold power anymore, that these part of the population would leave the
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Speaking about Zepa, men of military age, members of the armed
21 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zepa, they never surrendered to the
22 Serbs, did they?
23 A. Are you saying that all men of military age were members of the
24 armed forces?
25 Q. Not yet. But before answering my question, maybe you could tell
1 me what your opinion was on that particular issue.
2 A. Well, I mean, I'm very happy to answer your question, but I wanted
3 to understand the question I was being asked, and you are putting two
4 things together which I wasn't convinced is so.
5 Q. You said, if I'm not mistaken, the day before yesterday that on
6 Serb territory, all men of military age were members of the Serb military
8 A. Under conscription arrangements, that had been the case, yes.
9 Q. Didn't the same situation prevail in the Bosnian Army?
10 A. Not necessarily. I don't believe that was the case.
11 Q. Are you aware that in June 1995, the Federation of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina proclaimed mobilisation?
13 A. I don't recall that occurring.
14 Q. I may have made a mistake. This is the mobilisation order which
15 predates your arrival, actually. It was in June 1992, but it was never
17 A. Then so be it. I don't have any memory of that particular
19 Q. But you do know that in the former JNA, there was a concept of
20 territorial defence?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And within that framework, every man of military age was indeed a
23 military man or was to become a military man, if need be?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was also based on that
1 concept of territorial defence?
2 A. It wasn't necessarily based on it, but it had originated from it,
3 yes. If I can make one -- only one other point, it isn't so much the
4 manpower, it's their weapons in these circumstances. And while, of
5 course, all those men had the potential to be a soldier, they didn't
6 necessarily have the capacity to be one.
7 Q. Well, I think things are clearer now.
8 About Zepa and about military forces of the Army of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina who were at Zepa before the fall of the enclave, members of
10 those forces never surrendered to the Serbs; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, I believe that to be the case.
12 Q. And according to your understanding, the Serbs didn't undertake
13 major fighting against members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina who
14 took refuge in the hills?
15 A. That is my understanding, yes.
16 Q. I would like to go back when you took the office of -- took the
17 office of UNPROFOR commander in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before taking
18 this position, did you have the opportunity to meet your predecessor,
19 General Rose?
20 A. Yes, I met General Rose.
21 Q. Did General Rose brief you about the most important problems
22 prevailing in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And when you started your work there, did the different commanders
25 in your staff tell you about the problems in Srebrenica or problems
1 relating to Srebrenica?
2 A. Yes, I would have been briefed about Srebrenica.
3 Q. And did you have the opportunity to talk to the Northeast Sector?
4 I think this is the sector to which Srebrenica belonged, and did they tell
5 you about the particular problems pertaining to the enclave, including
6 problems between different political and military Muslim factions?
7 A. I can't remember the detail of the briefings, but I did go to
8 Sector Northeast and they would have briefed me about the whole of their
9 area, which would have included Srebrenica, yes.
10 Q. I'd like to tell you about a report, and I apologise to you and to
11 the Judges because I don't have the translation into English of this
13 This is document 5D509.
14 Witness, it is a report from the 2nd Corps of the Army of Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina pertaining to the meeting that the representative of the
16 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had with Mr. Ken Biser. In this document,
17 he's referred to as being the head of Civil Affairs of UNPROFOR for Sector
18 Northeast. So this is a document from before your time, one or two months
19 before you arrived. It's dated the 9th of December, 1994.
20 First of all, was Mr. Biser still in Bosnia when you arrived?
21 A. Yes, he was.
22 Q. Did you have the opportunity to talk to him about the situations
23 in Srebrenica?
24 A. I know we had conversation and discussed the whole of his area, so
25 we most certainly talked about Srebrenica as well. But the details of it,
1 I cannot recall.
2 Q. On page 3 of this report, and I will read it to you in B/C/S and
3 it will be translated into English, so a hypothesis has apparently been
4 mentioned at this meeting, according to which:
5 "They were holding them against their will in Srebrenica."
6 I'm talking about the refugees:
7 "The refugees were believing that they were being held against
8 their will inside Srebrenica."
9 When you arrived in Bosnia, you knew that there were many refugees
10 in Srebrenica, people who arrived from villages around Srebrenica or other
11 regions from Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Had you ever heard that this civilian population, these refugees,
14 may have been prevented from exiting this area by the Srebrenica
15 authorities, by the Muslim authorities?
16 A. I -- not in the way that you are describing it here. The way I'd
17 seen it or observed it was in the early stages of the setting up of the
18 enclave in Srebrenica, when at one stage in the very early stages there
19 were some convoys that were taking people out, and at this point the
20 government in Sarajevo began to object to UNHCR moving people out, and the
21 government in Pale started to say that only convoys -- no empty vehicles
22 could -- you know, you could have a convoy to go into Srebrenica, provided
23 it came out with -- once it had dumped its humanitarian stores, it carried
24 refugees out, and at that point it became an impasse. That's my memory of
25 that situation.
1 Q. So according to this document from the Army of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina -- and by the way, could we scroll up to the bottom of the
3 page, and we could read the following [in English]:
4 "Asked that particular question about the relationship between the
5 government, the army and the police in Srebrenica."
6 Can we go to the next page. I will read you what the commander of
7 the 2nd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina apparently told Mr. Biser
8 and what he asked him. Apparently, they mention the following problems:
9 "The over-population is the biggest problem. Two or three rows
10 of three-storey houses for accommodation have been built, but people
11 cannot move in without paying rent. There are empty houses already for
12 weeks. The municipality did not allow people moving in. Power struggle,
13 police. They want a share in the humanitarian aid. Municipal organs
14 control the distribution of aid. Military elements control the
15 municipality. There is animosity between the MUP chief and Naser Oric."
16 Then, further down:
17 "The military structures, Naser Oric and Zulfo Tursunovic, the
18 commander of the 251st Brigade, are in conflict. The material interests
19 are behind the conflict. Destruction of competition, different streams,
20 involvement in crime, and smuggling on both sides. Nobody can leave
21 Srebrenica to testify about the situation there. UNPROFOR is powerless
22 and they can't do anything about that. The head of the police is
23 complaining that the police does not have any authority over army members
24 in preventing crime."
25 I think I have read enough.
1 So the meeting took place on the 9th of December, 1994. That was
2 about one and a half months before you arrived. Had you ever been told
3 about this concern by the 2nd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 relating to the situation in Srebrenica, including the conflict between
5 the political and military authorities?
6 A. No, I had not been told of anything in that detail.
7 Q. I'd like to show you another document. It's also a document
8 written by the commander of the 2nd Corps. I'm sorry, it's just one
9 sentence. It hasn't been translated into English. The document has
10 nothing to do with your time in Bosnia, because it's dated the 5th of
11 July, 1993, but what I think is interesting about this document -- so it's
12 document 5D496, and can we show paragraph 5, as I said.
13 It's a document written by the commander of the 2nd Corps at the
14 time in 1993, and the last sentence of paragraph 5, he writes:
15 "Under no circumstances allow any of the citizens to leave the
16 demilitarised area."
17 Can you tell us why it was important for the Bosnian Army to
18 prevent the evacuation of the population of Srebrenica?
19 A. No, I don't know what they were thinking in 1993.
20 Q. From a strictly humanitarian point of view, wasn't it more logical
21 to clear the evacuation of the population in that area? That was an
22 overcrowded area.
23 A. I wasn't there at the time, and I'm really not able to form an
24 opinion as to the most sensible thing to do.
25 Q. I fully accept your answer, but during your time in Bosnia in
1 1995, did you sometimes have the feeling that the Bosnian authorities
2 were, in a way, holding the population hostages?
3 A. No, I didn't understand it in that sense as holding the population
4 hostage at all, no.
5 Q. When you arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and when you started
6 to work there, did you know that there were agreements signed between the
7 Army of Republika Srpska and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina relating
8 to the demilitarisation of the areas of Zepa and Srebrenica?
9 A. If you're referring to the documents such as I was shown,
10 discussed the map of with General Mladic, yes, I had understood there had
11 been those agreements, yes.
12 Q. I'd like to show you document 5D503. It is the agreement on the
13 demilitarisation of Srebrenica.
14 Can we show page 2 of this agreement. And can we go further down
15 to see all the signatures. And go to the left. You'll see the date.
16 So you see the agreement was signed on the 18th of April, 1993.
17 It was signed by General Halilovic, General Ratko Mladic and
18 Lieutenant-General Lars-Eric Wahlgren. I think I understood you to say
19 between 1992 and 1994, you worked for the Ministry of Defence in the UK
20 and you monitored the British missions and the operation within the
21 Balkans, so this would have been what you would have worked on at the
22 time; is that correct?
23 A. No. I -- that's the first time I think I've ever seen that
24 document. The -- I could probably have seen it if I'd wanted to, in that
25 it had been held in my headquarters in Sarajevo, but the British
1 involvement in Srebrenica in 1993 was very limited, and that would have
2 been the concern that I would be dealing with in -- when I was in London,
3 in the Ministry of Defence. I wouldn't have been monitoring or trying to
4 understand and second-guess the United Nations.
5 Q. I understand that your agreement was signed before you arrived,
6 but theoretically, at least, this agreement was still in force when you
7 arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And if I understood you correctly, no
8 one told you about the existence of such an agreement.
9 A. No, I understood that an agreement existed. I didn't read it. If
10 I had wanted to read it, I dare say I could have done, but I -- I don't
11 recall having it out in front of me and reading the documents from 1993,
12 and I didn't see it when I was in London.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we go back to the first page of
14 this document, and can we scroll up to paragraph 4 [in English]:
15 "The demilitarisation of Srebrenica will be complete within 72
16 hours of the arrival of the UNPROFOR company in Srebrenica."
17 [Interpretation] And then [in English]:
18 "All weapons, ammunition, mines, explosives and combat supplies
19 (except medicines) inside Srebrenica will be submitted/handed over to
20 UNPROFOR under the supervision of three officers from each side with
21 control carried out by UNPROFOR. No armed persons or unit, except
22 UNPROFOR, will remain within the city once the demilitarisation process is
23 complete. Responsibility for the demilitarisation process remains with
25 [Interpretation] So in this agreement, i.e., the demilitarisation
1 process is described, but it never took place, did it?
2 A. No. Weapons clearly remained being used in the area.
3 Q. And according to this agreement, the last sentence of paragraph 4,
4 it is not only weapons that were to be handed over, but also all units and
5 all armed forces except UNPROFOR?
6 A. Yes. That's the penultimate sentence, not the last.
7 Q. I'd like to show you another agreement that was reached a few
8 weeks later. It's Exhibit 5D502.
9 This is an agreement on the demilitarisation of Srebrenica and
10 Zepa concluded between Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic and
11 General Sefer Halilovic on the 8th of May, 1993, in the presence of
12 Lieutenant-General Philippe Morillon.
13 Did you have the opportunity to see this particular agreement?
14 A. As I said before, no doubt there was the opportunity. I don't
15 recall reading it how many years later.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown Article 3.
17 It's on page 2. It's very similar to what there was in the agreement
18 signed on the 18th of April, 1993. In this Article, it says [in English]:
19 "Every military or paramilitary unit will have either to withdraw
20 from the demilitarised zone or submit/hand over their weapons.
21 Ammunition, mines, explosives and combat supplies in the demilitarised
22 zone will be handed over/submitted to UNPROFOR."
23 [Interpretation] I think you already said that it never took
24 place, and indeed a unit of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was still
25 there in 1995, when you arrived, it was still in Srebrenica?
1 A. It was in the -- there was a collection point, and I've -- I had
2 inspected weapons that had been collected in the weapon collection point,
3 so perhaps some of it had happened, but I quite agree that there were
4 armed men still inside the enclave. Whether they were in the city or not,
5 I don't know.
6 Q. However, there were in the enclave?
7 A. Yes, there was some armed men in the enclave.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] And can we go to Article 5 and
9 paragraphs 3 and 4.
10 Q. The agreement also provided for the following [in English]:
11 "Non-combatants who are in or who are willing to enter the
12 demilitarised zone, except for members of UNPROFOR, are not permitted to
13 have in their possession any weapons, ammunition or explosives. Weapons,
14 ammunition and explosives in their possession shall be seized by UNPROFOR.
15 "Combatants will not be allowed to enter or to be in the
16 demilitarised zone."
17 [Interpretation] Now, these terms were never enforced, respected,
18 were they?
19 A. They -- I can't account for the period until I was there, but it
20 was certainly they weren't seizing any weapons when I was there.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we now go back to page 1 of this
23 Q. I think you mentioned the meeting -- you mentioned a meeting with
24 General Mladic, where he complained that the -- that the boundaries of the
25 zone were not properly established.
1 Can we scroll up to the bottom of the page to show Article 1.
2 In paragraph 2, it is said [in English]:
3 "The demilitarised areas will include the area within the current
4 lines of conflict. The precise boundaries will be marked by the UNPROFOR
5 commander on the ground after consultations."
6 [Interpretation] General, I understand it happened long before you
7 arrived in Bosnia, but in a way, you inherited the situation that was
8 difficult, if not impossible. According to your understanding, the
9 UNPROFOR commander at the time in 1993 never clearly established the
10 boundaries of that area, did he?
11 A. Oh, I think there was an established set of boundaries. The
12 disagreement -- there was disagreement about where they were, but there
13 were boundaries that were established, all right. Otherwise, they
14 wouldn't have their positions to put the OPs on. I'm talking of
15 Srebrenica when I'm using the example of OPs.
16 Q. Have you ever seen a document where those boundaries were clearly
18 A. I've seen maps on which where everyone stood was drawn, and in the
19 meeting I described it's -- General Mladic made it quite plain that he
20 disagreed with where those lines were where people were standing, but I
21 had understood where everyone was.
22 Q. Right, but are you aware of the existence of an UNPROFOR official
23 document sent to the warring parties in which those boundaries had been
24 clearly determined?
25 A. No, I have -- I don't know if such a document exists.
1 Q. Was your understanding that both enclaves, Zepa and Srebrenica,
2 should be physically separated?
3 A. I have no understanding other than that they were separated.
4 Whether they should have been or not, I don't know.
5 Q. Could you please have a look at Article 2 of this agreement. In
6 fact, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that Article 2 refers to
7 Article 60 of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Can
8 you confirm that Article 2 referred to Article 60 of the 1st Additional
9 Protocol to the Geneva Conventions?
10 A. Yes, it's -- so it is written.
11 Q. Would you agree that according to Article 60 of the Protocol, as
12 is indicated in this agreement as well, all fighters, as well as weapons
13 and mobile materiel, military materiel, should have been evacuated from a
14 protected zone?
15 A. I'd want to see the Geneva Convention to be sure.
16 Q. Okay, I'll come back to that later.
17 In any case, would you agree that the fact that the Bosnian
18 authorities never withdrew the military unit from the protected zone was a
19 substantial breach of the agreement?
20 A. It isn't -- it's not what they've said they're going to do, yes.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we go back to page 5 -- no,
22 I'm sorry, to page 2, Article 5 of the agreement. It is the last
23 paragraph of Article 5, and it says, clearly, that combatants will not be
24 allowed to enter or to be in the demilitarised zone.
25 A. Yes, it says that.
1 Q. And if we take a look at page 4 of that same document, we see that
2 this document was signed by General Halilovic, who was representing the
3 ABiH; do you agree with that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. However, those combatants remained in the protected zone, didn't
7 A. Combatants remained there, yes, or, rather, to rephrase that, in
8 my time there were combatants there.
9 Q. In the period you spent there, there was a clear breach of the
10 agreement, wasn't there?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Would you agree that when such substantial breach occurs within a
13 protected zone, well, the zone loses the status of a protected zone?
14 A. No, I don't think that follows, and I don't think it follows when
15 these disputes are supposed to be sorted out in the presence of UNPROFOR.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
17 5D505. And, once again, I have to apologise. The documents are in B/C/S
19 This is a report coming from the 1st Corps of the ABiH on the
20 demilitarisation of Zepa. In fact, it is the inspection of the
21 demilitarisation plan of the Zepa area which took place on the 20th of
22 May, 1993. The document dates back to the 21st of May, 1993.
23 Q. At the time, based on this ABiH document, the representative of
24 the UNPROFOR, Mr. Valenti, said the following under 1. This is paragraph
25 (a). Number 1:
1 "That articles 1, 2 and 5 of the agreement have been honoured to
2 the full by UNPROFOR; that the Serb side complied with its obligations
3 arising from the agreement in the following way: That our side did not
4 comply with Article 3 and that UNPROFOR does not want a museum in Zepa to
5 be established. When they say that, they imply the contents and the types
6 of the weapons that were surrendered."
7 In contrast to Srebrenica, according to point 4 of that document
8 which relates to Zepa:
9 "Both sides agreed with the boundaries of the demilitarised zone
10 that UNPROFOR identified as containing eight check-points."
11 According to this document, the UNPROFOR representative in May
12 1993 found that the Serbs had complied with their obligations arising from
13 the agreement. I'm talking about Zepa here, of course.
14 A. If you say so. I have -- I can't read it.
15 Q. According to this document or according to what I read in this
16 document, the Bosnian side had not complied with its obligation arising
17 from the agreement on the demilitarisation of Zepa?
18 A. If you say so. Again, I can't -- I wasn't there and I can't read
19 this document, and I don't know its provenance.
20 Q. Let's go back to the time you served as commander in 1995. You're
21 in a position to say that a military unit was there, a military unit from
22 the ABiH was there in Zepa?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Bear with me a little longer, but I promise you this is the last
25 document without the translation.
1 This is document 5D506. It's a document by the Supreme Command
2 Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, sent
3 to the Srebrenica Defence Command, Naser Oric. The document is dated 1st
4 of June, 1993.
5 In the next-to-last paragraph - maybe we could have it shown on
6 the screen - the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command of the Army of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefer Halilovic, asks Naser Oric, the commander of
8 forces in Srebrenica, the following:
9 "Carry out sabotage and assault actions in the depth of
10 aggressor's territory; establish connections with the citizens of Zepa;
11 logistical supplies must be war booty. The summer days are good for
12 guerrilla fight. Attack Chetnik bases, individual and group motor
13 vehicles on the roads which carry materiel and technical equipment and
14 food for the Chetniks on the front line and similar things. All the
15 missions have to be carried out in the strictest confidence, but they have
16 to be very skillfully coordinated."
17 I fully understand that you were not there at the time and that
18 you cannot read the document for yourself, but such a request, sent to the
19 commander of armed forces in Srebrenica, is a clear breach of the
20 agreement on demilitarisation, isn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that apart from not demilitarising the demilitarised
23 zone, the Bosnian authorities regularly supplied those protected zones
24 with weapons?
25 A. Did I know that or what was your question? I didn't know it in
1 the sense that I could see it going on or anything like that, but it must
2 have been happening or I -- they couldn't have maintained those people in
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to show you document
5 4D5, and it is translated into English. It is the speech delivered by the
6 commander of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rasim Delic, in front of
7 the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 1996; after the war, that
9 I'd like to have page 3 of that document displayed, please.
10 Q. General, in the middle of this paragraph, there's a reference to
11 the delivery of technical equipment, which started in April 1994. It
12 says "materiel and technical equipment," and there's also a reference to
13 the fact that [in English]:
14 " ... Without the compromising their status as protected
15 demilitarised zones."
16 [Interpretation] Can you see this in the middle of the paragraph
17 that's in the middle of the page?
18 A. What is "MTS"?
19 Q. I believe it is explained between brackets, materiel and technical
21 Further down, not the next paragraph but the one after, there's a
22 reference to the groups who went on foot, taking some weapons, equipment
23 and communications equipment in the autumn of 1994. Can you see that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Then in the same paragraph, there's a reference to helicopter
2 flights being organised.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, take a look at the bottom of the page, at the paragraph
5 starting with [in English]: "The flights ...":
6 "The flights were much more difficult than those in 1993 because
7 of the following: The reduced area of the free territory; strong
8 anti-aircraft defence of the Serbian aggressor; NATO control of the
9 airspace and no-fly zones for all aircraft."
10 [Interpretation] Is it true that all flights of all aircraft of
11 warring factions were forbidden above Bosnia?
12 A. Yes, it's --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: He has already answered that and given enough
14 information on it, Ms. Fauveau, and we are beginning to wonder why you are
15 spending all this time on these events when most of what you have covered
16 is already in the list of adjudicated facts and also agreed facts. We're
17 letting you go because --
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. I'm not trying to show
19 that weapons did reach the area. What I'm interested in is the following:
20 Q. How is it possible -- or, rather, did you know that there were
21 such flights, helicopter flights?
22 A. I knew that there had been helicopter flights once I was in the
23 theatre, yes.
24 Q. Did you take action to prevent this from happening?
25 A. No, that was down to NATO to do, and they found it extremely
2 Q. Why did they find it extremely difficult? Was there a specific
4 A. There were technical reasons to the difficulty.
5 Q. Did the NATO representative inform you of such problems, technical
6 problems, to --
7 A. Yes, I understood that they existed, yes.
8 Q. Did you tell them, inform them, or was it your opinion that
9 leaving those weapons to reach protected zones could lead to a
10 deterioration between the -- to the relationship between UNPROFOR and the
12 A. The -- we didn't necessarily know that there were weapons on those
13 helicopters. It was the flights, and there were flights by all sides
14 going on. It wasn't only into the -- those two safe areas.
15 Q. You spoke about problems faced by the Army of Republika Srpska due
16 to a shortage of manpower. Is it true that the Army of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina was deliberately using the enclaves to attack the Serbs?
18 A. I can't answer the question on behalf of the Bosnian Army. The
19 enclaves existed, they were there, and operations were conducted in and
20 from them.
21 Q. And those military operations which were conducted in the
22 enclaves, around the enclaves, and in particular from the enclaves, they
23 were in breach of the agreements on demilitarisation, were they not?
24 A. They were -- of that document you showed me, they are in breach of
25 that, yes.
1 Q. Did you receive reports on violations committed by the Bosnian
2 side, relating to combats led from the enclaves? Did you receive reports
3 from the Dutch-Bat or from the Ukrainian Battalion on Zepa, reports
4 indicating that such things were happening?
5 A. The relevant sectors would have received the reports, and then
6 they would have reached me, yes, or my headquarters.
7 Q. Did you ever think of taking stronger action against the Bosnian
8 side to prevent such attacks from happening?
9 A. In what sense do you mean "stronger action"?
10 Q. You're right, indeed. Did you take any measures at all after you
11 received such reports?
12 A. When we had a particular case, we would pursue it, and in many
13 cases these would be protested and so forth in much the same procedure as
14 was carried out with -- to the Bosnian Serbs when other things happened
15 from that side.
16 Q. But on various cases, force was used against the Serbs. Did you
17 ever think of using force against the Bosnian side?
18 A. There was no case where -- that I can recall in my time when the
19 Bosnians attacked my forces, so I had no cause to use force in defence of
20 myself or my forces.
21 Q. Isn't it true that when you arrived -- a few days after you
22 arrived, actually, the armed forces of Srebrenica took members of the
23 Dutch-Bat hostage?
24 A. I don't recall that.
25 Q. When you arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, an agreement on the
1 cessation of hostilities was in force between the Army of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the VRS?
3 A. That is so.
4 Q. But, very quickly, you draw the conclusion that the agreement was
5 not respected?
6 A. I don't think it was very quickly, but fairly soon that became
7 clear to me, yes.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we still have five
9 minutes left, but I'm about to show the witness another document, so maybe
10 it is appropriate for us to take the break now.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to have a break now, but it will be of
12 20 minutes' duration and not 25, but then we don't finish at 7.00, we
13 finish five minutes or thereabouts before. Okay?
14 Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 I'd like to show the witness another excerpt from the NIOD
20 report. It is Exhibit 5D494.
21 Can we go to page 3, the third paragraph from the bottom of the
23 Q. General, can you see the paragraph starting with: "In Akashi's
24 opinion ..."? In this paragraph of this report, it is said -- the
25 following is said, and to put things in perspective, what is at stake here
1 is the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement that has been -- that began in
2 1995 [in English]:
3 "In Akashi's opinion, everything was aimed at an ABiH offensive as
4 soon as the weather conditions would improve. The Bosnian government had
5 not explained the reasons for this obstruction against the arranged
6 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, but Akashi did have the impression
7 that the Bosnian government wanted to make it clear to the International
8 Community that the Cessation of Hostility Agreement had no effect, with
9 the purpose of discrediting the Bosnian Serbs. However, in reality it was
10 the Bosnian government that failed to fully comply with it. That put
11 UNPROFOR in a deadlock. In addition, the Bosnian government used the
12 relatively quiet period to financially squeeze the UNPROFOR for rent of
13 facilities ..."
14 [Interpretation] Do you agree with that opinion, with Mr. Akashi's
15 view that the Bosnian government in fact failed to respect this Cessation
16 of Hostilities Agreement?
17 A. I'm not clear that that is Akashi's. This is their report of
18 Mr. Akashi's views. But I would generally agree that the cessation of
19 hostilities was going to end, and it was towards the end of March that the
20 first full-scale attacks occurred by the Bosnians.
21 Q. Is it correct that the Bosnians took financial advantage of
23 A. I don't know. It wasn't my side of the business at all. I have
24 no idea as to who was paying the rents and so forth.
25 Q. You were talking about supply problems the day before yesterday,
1 about problems relating to supplying UN forces, and can we -- can we go
2 back to this page? Can we go up on this page to the second paragraph in
3 this report? And by the end of the paragraph, the following is said [in
5 "In addition, the ABiH imposed limitations upon the UNPROFOR
6 freedom of movement, said Akashi. He also concluded that not only did the
7 Bosnian Serbs impose restrictions on sending fuel supplies to UNPROFOR,
8 but the Bosnian Muslims were doing the same, supplying the troops in the
9 Sapna Thumb (where the Dutch-Bat company was stationed) and Srebrenica was
10 hindered by the restrictions imposed by the ABiH."
11 [Interpretation] Did you know that the Bosnians imposed
12 restrictions on the -- on UNPROFOR's freedom of movement?
13 A. Yes, they did. I don't actually remember the particular case that
14 you've put there, that's put there in that paragraph. I cannot -- I can't
15 confirm that happened. There were restrictions. They were nothing like
16 as those imposed by the Bosnian Serbs. But we couldn't go wherever we
17 wanted, no.
18 Q. I would like to show you another part of NIOD's report. It is
20 Can we go to page 3, page 3 of this document.
21 Somewhere in the middle of paragraph 2, there's a sentence that
22 starts as following, and it deals with the time of May or June 1995 [in
24 "Haukland pointed out in a letter of protest to the ABiH command
25 in Sarajevo that this was one side of the coin. He complained about
1 ABiH's limitation of UNPROFOR's freedom of movement and the curfew and the
2 hostility experienced from ABiH soldiers. For this reason, he was no
3 longer able to perform his operational and humanitarian duties
4 satisfactorily. Haukland's anger could be explained: The ABiH (the 1st
5 Corps in Visoko) blocked the flow of humanitarian goods to the Tuzla
6 region, where 250.000 people were dependent on aid. Governor Izet Hadzic
7 was not up in arms about this, although he did have concerns about the
8 humanitarian situation in Srebrenica."
9 [Interpretation] Had you heard of this incident?
10 A. It's more than -- it's not -- the particular exchange of letters,
11 I don't recall at all. That this was going on in June, I am well aware
12 of, yes. Those are the sort of restrictions I was referring to when I
13 said that the ABiH were doing it.
14 Q. Just to clarify it, did you know that these people from Tuzla,
15 these 250.000 people, were Muslim?
16 A. I don't know that they were all Muslim, but most would have been,
18 Q. Did you know that there were particular problems in Srebrenica
19 between members of the Dutch-Bat and members of the UNHCR?
20 A. No, I don't recall that being brought to my attention.
21 Q. Can we go to page 4 of this document. It is right at the end of
22 the page, the last paragraph [in English]:
23 "At Yellow Bridge, the VRS, both on the outward and on the return
24 journey, carefully checked the quantity of fuel in the vehicles' tanks.
25 The VRS soldiers appeared friendly, but the convoy leader could not say
1 that about Dutch-Bat: The Dutch-Bat soldiers were instructed to check the
2 vehicles, which was done conscientiously. Furthermore, each truck was
3 photographed. Major Franken explained this by saying that Dutch-Bat
4 performed the checks as a precautionary measure, because otherwise the
5 ABiH would do so; he feared that the ABiH would also set up a roadblock."
6 [Interpretation] You said that you weren't aware of particular
7 problems between the UNHCR and the Dutch-Bat, but did you hear or was it
8 reported to you by Sector Northeast that Dutch-Bat was checking the
9 convoys going into the zone?
10 A. No, but it doesn't surprise me that they were.
11 Q. I would like to show you Exhibit 5D490. And while we are waiting,
12 I can tell you that this document is a summary of the meeting you had with
13 Dr. Ganic on the 21st of June, 1995.
14 In the first paragraph of this document, one can see that during
15 this meeting, the freedom of movement was discussed, amongst other things,
16 freedom of movement for UN convoys and UNPROFOR troops.
17 Is this correct that this was the topic of this meeting with
18 Dr. Ganic, that you talked about the freedom of movement?
19 A. If I could see the whole document, I might be able to confirm it,
20 but it's -- certainly freedom of movement was an issue during that month.
21 Q. And in June 1995, freedom of movement was restricted by the Army
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it was indeed a problem for UNPROFOR
23 troops, so is this what you're telling us?
24 A. Yes, we were having trouble moving around in Central Bosnia, and
25 particularly in this area.
1 Q. And I'd like you to read the last sentence of paragraph 4. It's
2 now General Hajrulahovic speaking, and he said the following:
3 [In English] That his troops would always allow the UN freedom of
4 movement, providing that UN gave 24 hours' prior notification.
5 [Interpretation] This procedure of 24 hours' notification was a
6 standard procedure that was applied by all parties, and by that I mean
7 that the Serbs also asked you to give them 24 hours' notice?
8 A. I don't remember the standard procedure as to whether this was --
9 from that, I read that this was a new request, rather than standard
11 Q. So you're telling us that you don't remember it to be a standard
12 procedure, but would you say that there was a standard procedure for the
13 identification of convoys?
14 A. I can't recall the detail.
15 Q. The day before yesterday, on page 17477, the shortage of medicines
16 in Srebrenica, were you aware that the Dutch-Bat supplied the local
17 population with medicines?
18 A. They certainly treated the local population on occasions. I
19 didn't -- I don't recall whether or not they actually supplied medicines
20 from their own supplies, but I know they treated them on some occasions.
21 Q. I'd like to show you another part of the NIOD report. It is
22 Exhibit 5D53.
23 And can we go to page 2 of this report and zoom on paragraphs 2
24 and 3.
25 I'm going to read you paragraph 2 and part of paragraph 3.
1 According to this report, the following is said [in English]:
2 "An estimated 90 per cent of all medical consumables were used in
3 the treatment of the local population, and the remainder in the treatment
4 of Dutch-Bat's own personnel. On arrival in the enclave,
5 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans regarded the stopping of support to the local
6 population, or a reduction in this support, is a serious threat to his
7 mission. He believed, moreover, that it would damage the good relations
8 with the local administration and population that had been built up with
9 such great care and effort. He urged the maintenance of medical aid at
10 its existing level."
11 [Interpretation] And then the next paragraph [in English]:
12 "The Netherlands Armed Forces had no guidelines for the provision
13 of aid to third parties. It was the UNPROFOR policy that, except in
14 emergencies, the provision of medical aid was a matter for nongovernmental
15 organisations and not for the military. The comment by General Rupert
16 Smith when he took up his position as Commander of Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 Command that the humanitarian aid would become one of the troops' main
18 objectives thus merely sowed confusion, since he had no say in logistic
20 [Interpretation] Is that an accurate description of the situation
21 as you knew it?
22 A. No. I don't understand -- if we take your first paragraph you
23 read out that starts with: "An estimated 90 per cent ...," that
24 paragraph, that's what I thought the Dutch-Bat was doing. The
25 proportions, I didn't know, but supporting a local population with your
1 surplus, by all means. Whether I was giving an order or a comment --
2 we're now in the second paragraph, I'm sorry -- the general policy of the
3 UN, it wasn't so much UNPROFOR as I understand it or, rather, understood
4 it, was that you didn't produce military units to support the local --
5 military medical units to support the local population if others were
6 available. It was better that these things were done by civil medical
8 The -- I would certainly have considered that Dutch-Bat, in its
9 circumstances in Srebrenica, was in a situation equating to an emergency
10 and it would be perfectly proper for it to support the local population.
11 Whether I'm giving a comment or giving an order, I have no idea in
12 that next sentence. And if it confused anyone, they had only to come and
13 ask, and I don't recall anyone asking, nor do I consider I had no say in
14 logistic matters. I don't agree with that, either.
15 Q. Would you agree that the situation regarding medical supplies
16 improved in April, and later on there was no longer a medicine shortage in
17 Srebrenica? And of course I'm talking about April 1995.
18 A. I agree that the situation improved after my visit, when that
19 delivery of medical stores arrived. Whether it -- what happened after
20 that, I don't say that that was -- went on being an improvement at all.
21 Supplying Srebrenica remained a problem right to the end.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown page 4.
23 That is the next page.
24 Q. And you see the third paragraph, starting with: "On 10th of
25 April, 1995 ..." [in English]:
1 "On 10 April 1995, the transport of medical supplies resumed,
2 greatly improving the situation as regard the stock of these goods. There
3 were hardly any more shortages at that moment; indeed, supplies of some
4 articles were actually much too high. All worries about the level of
5 medical supplies were completely resolved."
6 Well, I think that's enough.
7 Did you have a more specific knowledge on the situation regarding
8 medicines or would you be ready to accept what's written in this report?
9 A. I accept what's written in this report as a description of what's
10 happening to the Dutch Battalion, not to Srebrenica as a whole. This
11 is -- as I understand this, this is saying that the Dutch are exhausting
12 their supplies at the rate of 90 per cent to the -- in support of the
13 civil population, and the resupplies bring them up to a satisfactory level
14 and allows them to continue supporting the population at that rate. That
15 isn't the same thing as saying that Srebrenica is properly supplied.
16 Q. If you continue reading the text where I stopped, you'll see the
17 following [in English]:
18 "In the reply to questions in Parliament, Minister of Defence
19 Voorhoeve stated that the supplies were once again sufficient to permit
20 medical care both for civilians and for the Dutch soldiers. Medical aid
21 to the local population was indeed resumed at full capacity, with an
22 average of two operations per day."
23 [Interpretation] Would this change your opinion, and would you
24 accept the position as regards medicines, would you accept the fact that
25 the situation was quite satisfactory in Srebrenica?
1 A. No, I don't accept it. This is about the Dutch Battalion, not
2 about the population as a whole in Srebrenica. And, yes, they, the Dutch
3 Battalion, now have their supplies and they're able to carry out the
4 local -- support of the local population as it is -- as they were
5 beforehand, but it is not saying that there is a satisfactory flow of
6 supplies, as a whole, into Srebrenica.
7 Q. Would you agree that during a war, living conditions are usually
9 A. For who?
10 Q. For the civilian population.
11 A. Not necessarily, no.
12 Q. I'm talking about ordinary people. I'm not talking about people
13 with high political positions or military positions.
14 A. Again, I don't -- a statement such as you've asked me to agree
15 with, I can't agree with. No, I don't agree with you.
16 Q. And would you agree that the Republika Srpska, in particular, was
17 under embargo, it was a total embargo; it was not only an embargo on
18 weapons, but on everything else, every kind of supplies, apart from
19 humanitarian aid?
20 A. I agree, yes, it was a difficult time for the population.
21 Q. And is it fair to say, about the Republika Srpska, that living
22 conditions of the Serb population or the population within the Republika
23 Srpska as a whole were quite bad?
24 A. Yes, they were not good.
25 Q. Do you remember having given a declaration statement - you
1 mentioned it a moment ago - to the Parliamentary Commission of the
2 Netherlands which investigated the events in Srebrenica in 2002? I'd like
3 to show you Exhibit 5D489.
4 I'd like us to go to page 10 of this document, to the bottom of
5 the page, last column.
6 You're talking about life in the enclaves at the very end of that
7 paragraph. It begins, actually, in the middle of the paragraph, and
8 that's what you said [in English]:
9 "We had been trying for the last couple of weeks of June to get
10 supplies into Srebrenica, amongst other enclaves, and to do it by air
11 again. These attempts were paying to pass the debate with Zagreb at the
12 time. Zagreb had negotiated a number of convoys, as I recall it, through
13 Serbia and into Belgrade's hand as it were into these enclaves. Life was
14 bad and unpleasant and isolated and all those things, but it was not
15 disastrous, it was not catastrophic."
16 [Interpretation] Was that your assessment of the situation in
17 Srebrenica then?
18 A. That would be my description, yeah.
19 Q. When the Serbs took the enclave of Srebrenica, you heard, maybe
20 not right away, but during the days after, you heard of the separation of
21 men of combatting age, of military age?
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at page 15 of
24 this statement. It's at the very bottom of the page in the first column.
25 Q. In this last paragraph, you're talking about the separation of the
1 males, and that's what you said [in English]:
2 "Separation of the males from the females was the normative
3 behaviour of the Serbs in those circumstances, or for that matter, the
4 Bosnians in their circumstances had done that before. And so might the
5 Dutch Army if you had arrived on a position and was sorting out who was
6 who at the time."
7 A. I can't find this. What page?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the first column --
9 THE WITNESS: I'm in the wrong column, that's right. I was in the
10 wrong column. My mistake.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] If you want, I can give you some
12 time to read that paragraph.
13 THE WITNESS: And does it go on?
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, we can continue if you want.
15 THE WITNESS: Can I read over to the top of the page? No, this
16 other way. Thank you.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] It continues as follows.
18 THE WITNESS: Okay.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
20 Q. On the basis of this paragraph that you've just read, and on the
21 basis of what you said at the time, can it be said that the separation of
22 males, in itself, was something which could have been motivated by
23 military reasons, that from a military point of view it could have been
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I would now like to show you page 5 of this statement.
2 You were talking about the Serb forces and the general military
3 situation in existence between the fall of Srebrenica. What I'm
4 interested in is the last column, first paragraph of the last column.
5 Take some time to read the whole column, if you want, but in fact
6 what I'm interested in is what is in the middle of this column, where you
7 said [in English]:
8 "What they did need to do was to stop the Bosnian conducting
9 operations from out of them. They needed to make sure that the UN acted
10 to control the Bosnians and not let the Bosnians use the UN as a shield to
11 their activities.
12 A. Yeah.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you located the --
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, I have.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Then your question, Madame Fauveau, please.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Would it be fair to say that the Serb military activities around
18 the enclaves were necessary, from a military point of view, and justified,
19 from a military point of view?
20 A. I'm not prepared to argue for justification or not. I can
21 certainly understand what they were doing. That's the whole point in my
22 argument in -- with myself in this thesis, that this is what they would be
24 Q. But you did understand the restrictions imposed on convoys going
25 to the enclaves? I'm sorry, there may have been a mistake in the
1 interpretation, but that may be my own mistake.
2 Would it be fair to say that you also had an understanding for
3 restrictions which may have been imposed to convoys who were supposed to
4 go to the enclaves?
5 A. Let's be quite clear. I, as, if you like, my own intelligence
6 officer, can sit and try and put myself in another man's position and to
7 try and understand what he's doing and why he's doing it. That doesn't
8 make me agree with him or accept the rationale. Nevertheless, one tries,
9 in understanding these things, to put yourself in the other person's
10 shoes. That is what I'm doing in this thesis.
11 That I was tendered to be proved right is neither here nor there.
12 What I was explaining is what I was thinking the Serbs, in this case, were
13 conducting themselves.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like now to show you the report
15 drafted on the basis of your interviews with the Office of the Prosecutor
16 in November 2002. This is Exhibit 6D181.
17 Can we go to page 4, please, fourth paragraph of page 4.
18 Q. You said, during those interviews of November 2002, the following
19 [in English]:
20 "I thought to myself, what if I was Mladic. What would I do to
21 shift the balance of forces to advantage of the Serbs? I would squeeze
22 the enclaves, make them irrelevant, starve them."
23 [Interpretation] Is that what you said?
24 A. That's just what I've been trying to explain to you, that I'm
25 putting myself in Mladic's position.
1 Q. So it would be fair to say that the attitude -- the conduct of
2 Mladic was caused by a military necessity?
3 A. No, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion either.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, perhaps some time frame or context as
6 opposed to the way the question is currently phrased, which is conduct of
7 Mladic. I mean, it's awfully broad.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We can proceed, Mr. Thayer. I think the witness can
9 handle it. He knows exactly what the question is about and what he's
10 talking about.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Did you receive information about a meeting between the Dutch-Bat
13 members and the military unit of Bosnia-Herzegovina which was in
14 Srebrenica in May 1995?
15 A. I don't recall receiving such information, but I dare say if such
16 a meeting had occurred, it would have been reported.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'd like to show you Exhibit 5D498.
18 It is a document from the 2nd Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
19 dated 30th of May, 1995.
20 Could we show the first page of the English document to the
21 witness, please.
22 Q. In the first paragraph on this page, it is said the following [in
24 "A meeting between delegations of military and civilian
25 authorities in Srebrenica was held with the Srebrenica UNPROFOR Dutch
1 Battalion representative."
2 [Interpretation] And then further down in paragraph 3 [in
4 "The meeting commenced as scheduled and was attended by Major
5 Franken, Battalion Deputy Commander, and Warrant Officer Rave on behalf of
6 the UNPROFOR Command. At the beginning of the meeting, they told us they
7 would be frank, to the point, that they wanted the meeting to be of the
8 highest level of confidentiality, that they did not want any military
9 observers to be present at the meeting, and that they would tell us why at
10 the end of the meeting."
11 [Interpretation] Did anyone tell you at any stage that the
12 Dutch-Bat had secret meetings with members of the Army of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina in Srebrenica?
14 A. Secret from who?
15 Q. Apparently from the observers.
16 A. No, they didn't. I don't recall any such thing, and I'm assuming
17 that you're -- this document is referring to the UNMOs, but I don't know
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown page 2 of
20 this document, page 2 of the English version. It's the same page in
22 Q. In the middle of this first paragraph, in the upper part [in
24 "They have decided to defend themselves and given the situation
25 the Major said ..."
1 [Interpretation] Did you find this part of the document?
2 A. I've got a paragraph that starts: "They were to be attacked ..."
3 Q. That's the one, yes, somewhere in the middle, the eighth line from
4 the top.
5 A. Okay.
6 Q. It seems that the major, Major Franken, would have said in this
8 [In English] "Little remains but to jointly defend the enclave.
9 This is obvious," he said.
10 [Interpretation] Let me repeat what I have just said, because it
11 has not been recorded [in English]:
12 "Little remains but to jointly defend the enclave. This is
14 [Interpretation] I believe you said you didn't have any particular
15 information on an attack against the enclave, but did you know or did you
16 learn at a later stage that members of the Dutch-Bat had entered into
17 talks with the ABiH as to the conduct that would be necessary should an
18 attack take place?
19 A. No, I -- this -- the account in this paragraph, I don't -- is
20 news -- new to me, and I don't have any memory of anyone reporting such an
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Madame Fauveau, we need to stop here. We will
23 continue tomorrow.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, and everybody have a nice evening.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.52 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 8th day of
3 November, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.